The results are in, and the world has a new happiest country: Finland.
Ahead of World Happiness Day on March 20th, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the United Nations (or SDSNUN, as they’re known in the biz) released its World Happiness Report, which ranks Finland as the happiest country in the world.
The report measures the happiness levels of countries on six criteria: income, freedom, trust, healthy life expectancy, social support and generosity. The other four countries in the top five are Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland, so clearly the Nordic folks are doing something right.
John Helliwell, a co-editor of the report, says it’s no surprise that these countries are in the top five:
The top five countries all have almost equally high values for the six factors found to support happiness, and four of these countries — Denmark, Switzerland, Norway and now Finland — have been in first place in the six World Happiness Report rankings since the first report.
Rounding out the top 10 were the Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and Australia.
A special focus of this year’s report was immigrant happiness. According to Helliwell, “The most striking finding of the report is the remarkable consistency between the happiness of immigrants and the locally born. Although immigrants come from countries with very different levels of happiness, their reported life evaluations converge towards those of other residents in their new countries.”
This might explain why America barely cracked the top 20 overall, considering its awful treatment of immigrants. (America finished 18th in this year’s report, dropping 4 spots from last year’s World Happiness Report.) Other factors are obesity, the ongoing opioid epidemic, and untreated depression.
Download the full report here, if you want to feel worse about where you live.